Kriechmayr wins fog-delayed super-G in Gardena after 4 hours
SELVA DI VAL GARDENA, Italy (AP) — Austrian skier Vincent Kriechmayr narrowly edged Norwegian rival Kjetil Jansrud to win a fog-affected World Cup super-G that lasted nearly four hours on Friday.
The shortened race had been interrupted for 45 minutes due to fog hanging over the middle of the Saslong course before Kriechmayr came down as the No. 7 starter and beat early leader Mauro Caviezel.
Kriechmayr then had to wait nearly three hours before the race was declared finished amid near darkness at 3:30 p.m. (1430 GMT) due to more fog.
In all, the event lasted 3 hours, 45 minutes before the results were taken with 48 of 64 skiers having raced.
It was worth the wait, though, as the result moved Kriechmayr atop both the overall and super-G standings.
In the overall, Kriechmayr moved 48 points ahead of previous leader Alexis Pinturault, who did not enter this race.
In the super-G, Kriechmayr moved 12 points ahead of Olympic champion and teammate Matthias Mayer, who finished 11th.
Kriechmayr trailed the early leaders at each of the first two checkpoints but was masterful through the technical Ciaslat section that features a series of small bumps and jumps that rattled many skiers off the racing line.
Jansrud came down later and built a lead of 0.32 seconds over Kriechmayr into the final checkpoint but was carrying so much speed that he had to slam on the brakes to clear one of the final gates and finished 0.05 behind.
Thomas Dressen of Germany, another late starter, finished third, 0.22 behind Kriechmayr.
It was the fifth World Cup victory of Kriechmayr’s career, to go with the two medals he won at last season’s world championships in Are, Sweden — silver in super-G and bronze in downhill.
It was also Kriechmayr’s third podium result this season after finishing third in a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta; and second in a downhill in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
“I’m really happy and proud about my skiing today,” Kriechmayr said. “This is a legendary course and I really like it.”
A Norwegian coach set the course, which resembled more of a downhill than a super-G in certain sections.
Still, Jansrud couldn’t add to Norway’s record total of eight super-G wins in Val Gardena — including a victory last year by Aksel Lund Svindal, who is now retired.
“That’s a very, very good result for me right now,” said Jansrud, the 2014 Olympic super-G champion who had struggled this season. “Now I can take it a little easier with the nerves and get ready for tomorrow’s downhill and hopefully be fast then, too.”
Jansrud led downhill training on Thursday.
It was the sixth podium result of Dressen’s career.
Poor conditions forced organizers to lower the start, cutting off about 15 seconds of racing.
Caviezel finished fourth and Dominik Paris was fifth.
Steven Nyman, a three-time winner of the Val Gardena downhill, was the top American in 13th.
Nyman was fighting for a podium position until he had to make an acrobatic recovery to maintain control midway down — much like he did toward the end of his downhill training run a day earlier.
Italian veteran Christof Innerhofer crashed during his run as a forerunner.
A downhill is scheduled for Saturday on the Saslong, then the circuit moves over to nearby Alta Badia for a giant slalom and parallel giant slalom on Sunday and Monday, respectively.